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Cyber Technology: Organized Crimes and Law Enforcement Thesis

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Updated: Jan 30th, 2022

Introduction

Background

The world has experienced rapid technological advancements in the last few decades. Today, human lives have become more dependent on computers and internet than ever before. While technology has facilitated globalization and simplified some genuine life undertakings, it has also furthered organized crimes1. Cyber crimes have hit new and unprecedented levels in the recent times2.These are crimes performed with the help of computers3. They include hacking of websites, fraud and trading of illicit products4. These crimes have not been slowed down by the substantial investment in equipping law enforcement agencies in the United States andthe European Union.

Research Problem

Although cyber crime rates have increased to unacceptable levels, there are no answers as to why the law enforcement agencies have not satisfactorily intervened. Therefore, there is a need to determine the main factors facilitating this menace so as to come up with a more informed approach.

Research Question

This research aims at determining the reasons why cyber crimes have persisted so as to suggest the way forward. The specific study questions are:

  1. What are the methods used by the law enforcement agencies in the US to fight cyber crime?
  2. What are the major impediments in the fight against cyber crime?

Thesis Statement

Because cyber crime is a global affair, it is not enough to end the menace by simply equipping the US law enforcement agencies.

Methodology

This study uses literature review approach to answer the research questions. The method is suitable for identifying the gaps and inconsistencies in the already existing literature and making recommendations on the way forward5. To find the relevant material, some key words, such as organized crime, cyber crime, transnational crime, and law enforcement agencies, were used.

Literature Review

The low enforcement agencies in the US have been using cyber technology to fight cyber crime6. In this regard, they have been very successful in detecting such crimes and the location of the perpetrators. However, there has been very little success in terms of prosecuting those involved in the syndicate.

Cybercrime is a globalized business where criminals use technology to commit crimes in other countries7. While the US has fully equipped detectives in readiness to curb this menace, most of the criminals involved come from other countries. To incarcerate these people, it requires cooperation between the countries where the perpetrators come from offended countries. This makes it challenging considering the differences inlegal frameworks that exist between various countries8. Very little has been done to facilitate uniformity in fighting transnational crimes9. Therefore, the success in curbing cyber crime depends on factors beyond the law enforcement agencies in the offended countries. Because of this, there is a need to have cross-border crime fighting mechanisms10.

In addition, a crime in one country may not be considered a crime in another11. For instance, while distribution of pornographic material is a crime in most countries, some jurisdictions do not recognize it as a crime. In this regard, it becomes difficult to fight the menace especially if the perpetrators come from jurisdictions that do not recognize it as a crime. Any attempt to pursue such criminals would be interpreted as external interference, which is a recipe for sour international relations12.

Furthermore, some of the cybercrime culprits are high ranking and influential people in their countries13. The best example is drug trafficking where markets and payments are secured online. These people are always protected by the state machineries and any attempt to pursue them is seen as an attack on their countries14. They have manipulated local systems to favor their criminal activities. Under such circumstances, the well-equipped US law enforcement agency cannot help.Therefore, there should be a cross-border crime fighting mechanism that is well explained, fair and above manipulation by some international players15.

Conclusion

Cyber crime rate has gotten to a level that cannot be ignored. While the US law enforcement agencies have been able to detect such cases, the prosecution has remained elusive due to international barriers, such as lack of goodwill among some international partners, differences in legislations and the need to maintain good international relations. Global players should, therefore, come up with a uniform cross-border crime fighting mechanism. Until such time, the law enforcement agencies remain the losers in this war.

Bibliography

Brenner, Susan W. “Organized cybercrime? How cyberspace may affect the structure of criminal relationships,”North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, 4, no. 1(2010): 37-41.

Dunn, John E.“Cybercrime now major drag on financial service,”Technology and Crime 4, no. 2 (2012): 6-11.

Finklea, Kristin M. & Catherine A. Theohary. Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement. Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2013.

Gordon, Sarah and Richard Ford. “On the definition and classification of cybercrime,”Journal of Computer Virology 2 (2006): 13-17.

Hakim, Catherine. Research Design: Successful Designs for Social and Economic Research. London: Routledge, 2000.

Hollis, Duncan B. “An e-SOS for Cyberspace,”Harvard International Law Journal 52 (2011): 392-393.

Scott, Charney. A framework and path forward,”Rethinking the Cyber Threat 12, no. 10 (2009): 63-67.

Speer, David L. “Redefining borders: The Challenges of Cybercrime,”Crime, Law and Social Change, 34, no. 3 (2000): 260-265.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2013. Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime. New York: United Nations, 2013.

Footnotes

  1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime (New York: United Nations, 2013), 6.
  2. Susan, Brenner W. Organized cybercrime? “How cyberspace may affect the structure of criminal relationships,” North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology, 4, no. 1(2010): 37-41.
  3. Susan, Brenner W. Organized cybercrime?, 38.
  4. John, Dunn E. “Cybercrime now major drag on financial service,” Technology and Crime 4, no. 2 (2012): 6-11.
  5. Hakim, Catherine. Research Design: Successful Designs for Social and Economic Research(London: Routledge, 2000), 11.
  6. Kristin, Finklea M. & Catherine A. Theohary, Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement (Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2013), 6.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Kristin, Finklea M. & Catherine A. Theohary. Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement(Washington: Congressional Research Service, 2013), 7.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Sarah, Gordon & Richard Ford,“On the definition and classification of cybercrime”. Journal of Computer Virology 2 (2006): 13.
  11. Duncan, Hollis B.,“An e-SOS for Cyberspace”. Harvard International Law Journal 52 (2011): 392.
  12. Ibid, 393.
  13. Scott, Charney,A framework and path forward,”Rethinking the Cyber Threat 12, no. 10 (2009): 63.
  14. Ibid, 65.
  15. Speer, David L., “Redefining borders: The Challenges of Cybercrime,”Crime, Law and Social Change, 34, no. 3 (2000): 260-265.
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